Good morning loves! I know I’ve been a little MIA the past couple weeks. Part of the reason is because it was the holiday’s and I was traveling, and another is a secret that I can’t wait to share with you! In the meantime, I thought I’d write a post that is very close to my heart. You all probably know I’ve been on a fitness journey since 2016 (almost 2 years now!). At this point I’ve met my fitness goal and I feel the reason I’ve been so successful is because I introduced small lifestyle changes over time that allowed me to achieve sustainable weight loss. “Sustainable” being the keyword here. I really can’t stress enough how important this is!
*This post is not sponsored, and may contain affiliate links. All content/opinions are my own.*
**Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietitian or anything of the sort. Everything mentioned here is my opinion and/or personal experience. Please don’t get offended if you personally love some of the techniques I don’t, or if a friend of a friend’s cousin lost tons of weight on one of these diets and kept it off 🙂
What is Sustainable Weight Loss?
Sustainable weight loss is just how it sounds: weight loss you can maintain once you reach your goal. A lot of us (myself included) are drawn to the idea of fad diet plans that promise quick and drastic weight loss. A couple programs that come to mind are the Atkins Diet and Weight Watchers. Both are extremely popular, promise fast results, and often fail in the long run. This is because they don’t teach you how to maintain the results you’ve achieved once you achieve them.
The Atkins Diet focuses on a low-carb approach to weight loss. I’ve seen this program actually work for people, including my dad and a family friend. My dad cut his carb intake down to 25 grams per day, and was able to loose quite a bit of weight. Same with our family friend. The problem they ran in to was 1.) in the long run, they didn’t want to eat only 25 grams of carbs per day, and 2.) once they reached their weight loss goal, they increased their carb intake and gained the weight right back. The diet didn’t focus enough on learning healthy eating habits for all the different food groups. In the end, it just provided a “quick fix” and not a sustainable method for weight loss.
This is a points-based diet program. It basically assigns a point value to all foods and gives you a points per day or per week that you should stay at/under. They also have a new Freestyle program that includes many foods that are “zero points,” to try and encourage you to eat more fruits and veggies. There are some good things about this program, but my main issue with it is that you don’t learn anything about the nutritional value of the food. What does four points for a slice of pizza or a beer actually mean? What do you actually know about the nutritional value of those foods? If you’re supposed to eat 28 points a day, is it OK to eat 28 points worth of carbs or junk? No, no, NO! Does thinking about food in the context of points really set you up for success once you reach your goal? In my opinion, and based on the research I’ve done and friends and family I’ve seen use the program, it does not.
The Real Problem with Fad Diets
The issue with fad diets is that they’re like a band aid. They basically offer a quick fix to your weight loss. They’re easy to understand, making them extremely popular. But they don’t offer long term success or sustainable weight loss. Are you going to want to be on a diet for your entire life? No. What does assigning points to your food or cutting out an essential food group teach you about nutrition? Nothing! This is why I prefer to educate myself on the science behind weight loss. I want to know what actually causes weight loss, muscle mass, everything. What BMI means, what Body Fat Percentage is healthy (and essential). What is my body type in fitness terms? Understanding all of these things as a whole is so important, and it’s definitely why I’ve been so successful.
The Easiest Part of Weight Loss
The easiest part of losing weight is the part no one expects. It’s the exercise. And at first, it is difficult. I still struggle to drag my butt off the couch to go to the gym! But this really is the easiest change to make. All you have to do is GO. Go to the gym and walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes. Or, if you don’t have the money for a gym membership, take a walk around your neighborhood. Cold outside? Get a yoga mat and free weights and download SworkIt on your phone. It’s a great workout app that takes the thought process out of exercising. I STILL use this app today! Most exercises on the app focus on calisthenics, so you don’t even need weights! Don’t have 30 minutes? Then just do 15 or 20! Just make that small step in the right direction. And if any of you are still complaining that you don’t have time for a 15 minute workout…then you have a different problem – it’s time to change your mindset.
My Diet Plan and Exercise Routine
In the last lifestyle/fitness post I wrote (you can check it out here), someone commented they’d like to see my diet and exercise plan that I follow. So I’ve created a PDF that breaks down my weekly plan! It includes my tips for getting started, meal planning and snack ideas, as well as weekly workout routines. I’ve also included some of the apps I personally use and love that have helped me on my journey! All you have to do to get this PDF guide for FREE, is subscribe to this blog HERE! Once you subscribe, you’ll automatically get the guide sent directly to your e-mail 🙂 It’s that easy!
I hope you found this post useful! Sharing real life experiences with you guys is definitely my passion (as you can probably tell from this novel LOL), and I hope you’ll leave me a comment below with your thoughts! Good luck in your 2018 New Year’s Resolutions, and I’ll talk to you all soon!
Photography by Rachel Cossette